Tennis (band)

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Tennis Music Band.jpg
Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis at Bumbershoot 2011 Seattle
Background information
Origin Denver, Colorado, United States
Genres Indie pop, surf pop, lo-fi
Years active 2010–present
Labels Fat Possum
Underwater Peoples
Fire Talk
Forest Family
Members Patrick Riley
Alaina Moore
Past members James Barone

Tennis is an American indie pop band from Denver, Colorado, United States, made up of husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley.


The couple met each other while studying philosophy in college, and started the band after they got back from an eight-month sailing expedition down the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard.[1] Their songs document their experiences on the water.[2] They took their name from a joke about Riley playing tennis in college. Prior to forming Tennis, Moore's earliest singing experience was in church choirs during her youth.[3]

Their first releases, both in July 2010, were the "Baltimore" EP on the Underwater Peoples label and the "South Carolina" single on Fire Talk. Tennis released their first studio album, Cape Dory on Fat Possum Records in January 2011. The album, featured on NPR,[4] was based on the couple's experiences during their sailing trip.

During their first tour, James Barone joined the band on drums.[1]

The second Tennis album, Young & Old,[5] was released on Fat Possum Records on February 14, 2012, produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, preceded by the single "Origins",[6] which was issued on Forest Family Records on December 6, 2011.

Tennis released a number of covers as self-released (digital) singles during 2011-2012, including versions of "Tell Her No"[7] by The Zombies, "Is It True?"[8] by Brenda Lee, "Tears in the Typing Pool"[9] by Broadcast, and "Guiding Light" [10] by Television.

American Songwriter named Tennis their Writer of the Week for the week of April 23, 2012.[11]

The band made several television appearances during 2012, performing "Origins" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 21,[12] "It All Feels the Same" on Late Night with David Letterman on April 9,[13] and "My Better Self" and "High Road" on Conan on July 25.[14]

In November 2013, Tennis released a 5-song EP titled Small Sound on Communion Records. It was previewed through Pitchfork Advance on October 29, 2013.

In May 2014, the band supported sister-act Haim on their North American spring tour.[15]

Their third album, Ritual In Repeat, was released on Communion in September 2014 to critical acclaim. In a feature on the album, NPR Fresh Air's Terry Gross said, "Can you re-invent lively pop from the distant past? ...songwriting team Tennis does just that with their new third album, Ritual in Repeat", while NPR's critic Milo Miles stated, "On Ritual in Repeat, it's like Moore and Riley discover just how much ancient Latin, or in this case extinct pop styles, is their natural language".[16]

Barone left the group in 2015.

On March 29, 2015, Tennis performed at Burger Records' Burgerama 4 festival in Santa Ana, California, and two songs from that set, "I'm Callin" and "Never Work for Free", were later aired on the May 7 episode of Last Call with Carson Daly. [17][18] Tennis were also selected to perform on April 1, 2015 at the United Artists Theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles for "The Music of David Lynch" event, hosted by the David Lynch Foundation.[19]

In early 2016, Moore and Riley once again set out on a sailboat journey in the Pacific Ocean, intended to provide inspiration for their next album, with their sailing experience being blogged by Urban Outfitters.[20]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Alaina Moore - vocals, keyboards, guitar (2010–present)
  • Patrick Riley - guitar, bass guitar (2010–present)
Former members
  • James Barone - drums (2011-2015)


Studio albums[edit]


  • Small Sound (Communion, November 2013)


  • "Baltimore" (Underwater Peoples, July 2010)
  • "South Carolina" (Fire Talk, July 2010)
  • "Is It True?" (self-released, June 2011)
  • "Tell Her No" (self-released, October 2011)
  • "Tears in the Typing Pool" (self-released, December 2011)
  • "Origins" (Forest Family, December 2011)
  • "My Better Self" / "Petition" (ATP, May 2012)
  • "Guiding Light" (self-released, September 2012)
  • "I'm Callin'" (Communion Records, August 2014)
  • "Ladies Don't Play Guitar" (Mutually Detrimental, August 2016)


  1. ^ a b "Artists » Tennis | Fat Possum Records". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ ""Marathon" | Forkcast Archive". Pitchfork. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  3. ^ "Tennis – "Live review: Tennis @ the Meadowlark"". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  4. ^ "Tennis Announce New Album Produced By The Black Keys' Patrick Carney - News". Pitchfork. November 9, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tennis: "Origins - Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Tennis - Tell Her No (The Zombies Cover)". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  7. ^ "Tennis – "Is It True?"". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  8. ^ "Tennis: "Tears in the Typing Pool" (Broadcast cover) - Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  9. ^ "Tennis: "Guiding Light" (Television cover) - Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  10. ^ Evan Schlansky (April 23, 2012). "Tennis". American Songwriter. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tennis – "Origins" 3/21 Leno | The Audio Perv". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  12. ^ "Tennis – “It All Feels The Same” 4/9 Letterman | The Audio Perv". Retrieved 2016-05-17.  C1 control character in |title= at position 36 (help)
  13. ^ "Tennis – "High Road" and "My Better Self" 7/25 Conan | The Audio Perv". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  14. ^ "Tennis Tours with HAIM, New Album Out this Spring on Communion Records". Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  15. ^ "For Duo Tennis, Pop Is A Natural Language". Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Phillips, Lior (2015-02-10). "All your favorite musicians are playing a tribute concert to David Lynch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  19. ^